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  • Ali Bair

Ali's Sweet and Spicy Bourbon, Maple Syrup Chili

When I think of a cozy meal for colder weather, it’s this one. Chili is a go-to meal for us in our house because it’s great to eat fresh, freeze for later, or even dehydrate (for backpacking). I do make it throughout the summer, too, but it’s something I crave when ‘chilly’ temps settle in. With this recipe, I took ideas from a few different recipes and came up with this one to combine Christopher's sweet tooth with my savory preference. The sweet and spicy combo is delicious to both of our palates. I oftentimes double the recipe to store for later in our freezer. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can change it up! If you want more carbs, add noodles or rice to it. If you’re trying to watch those carbs, make without...although cornbread is always recommended! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef (I use moose for optimal flavor)

  • 6 slices bacon (cut into small pieces)

  • 1 yellow onion chopped

  • 1 garlic clove minced

  • 2 carrots finely chopped

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes diced

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper(or half)

  • 1.5 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 can beans (I use kidney and black but any work)

  • 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 can tomato sauce

  • ¼ cup bourbon

  • ¼ maple syrup

  • 2 cups beef broth (more to thin as needed)


  1. Fry bacon pieces until crispy and drain. Set aside.

  2. Fry onion, carrots and garlic until lucid.

  3. Add beef and spices until fully cooked.

  4. Add tomato paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Add tomatoes, beans, broth and bacon.

  6. Cover and let it hang out for at least 30-45 minutes, but 2 hours is ideal for optimal flavor.

  7. Eat and enjoy. *May be topped with avocado, cheese, sour cream, and green onions*

  • If you want to use this recipe to dehydrate for backpacking, make sure your meat is lean because it dehydrates better!

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